Indian Millet (Achnatherum hymenoides)

Perennial
O. cuspidata. O. membranacea. Stipa hymenoides. S. membranacea.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Indian Millet
Achnatherum hymenoides
Gramineae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Seed – raw, cooked or ground into a meal and used in making bread etc, gruel and as a thickener in soups[2, 46, 85, 106, 183]. The seed is rather small but when fully ripe it falls readily from the plant and is fairly easy to harvest[183]. Another report says that the seed is rather large[183], but this has not been our experience[K]. The seeds were parched over the flames of a fire in order to remove the hairs[213]. A pleasant taste and very nutritious[85, 183], it contains about 6% sugars and 20% starch[213]. Before corn was introduced to the area, this seed was at one time a staple food for some native North American Indian tribes[213].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in situ[200]. We have had better results from sowing the seed in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and it should germinate freely within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer[K]. Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture retentive soil in full sun[200]. This species is unlikely to tolerate temperatures lower than about -5¡c, and so will only be suitable for the milder areas of the country[213]. Currently (1992) being tested for its potential as a perennial cereal for sandy soils in dry regions[183].
Western N. America – British Columbia to Manitoba, south to Texas, California and Mexico.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.